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June 15, 2018

Load mismanagement: DISCOs held responsible for bulk of blackouts


June 15, 2018

LAHORE: Power distribution companies (DISCOs) are being held responsible for bulk of load-shedding in pockets due to their overloaded system as they fail to balance out incoming electricity supply in their respective networks, it is learnt on Thursday.

Official power distribution audit reveals the electricity supply system of distribution companies is laced with system constraints, leading to successive outages due to overloaded power infrastructure.

An official said these system constraints at DISCOs level had been because of their inability in withdrawing load from transmission network in a balanced way. As per power distribution audit, uneven load distribution unnecessarily causes overloading of certain grids across the country.

Consumers of Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO), which is one of the biggest power utilities of the country in terms of consumer base and revenue generation, have been facing the brunt of such poor power distribution network.

The top management of the company has miserably failed to do work at their end for eliminating outages, a source told The News.

It is pointed out LESCO’s 220kV Shalamar Grid Station is under-loaded because of the company’s ineptness in optimally connecting it with its network. On the other hand, 132kV Shalamar old circuit is overloaded while New 132kV circuit-II is still under construction, causing power supplies issues.

Similarly, the load of 220kV New Kot Lakhpat Grid Station cannot be shifted to 220kV Bund Road due to overloading of 132kV Bund Road — Qartba Circuit. Moreover, 132kV Bund Road- Ravi Circuit is malfunctioning due to similar problems.

The Gujrawala Electric Power Company (GEPCO) is also notorious as its management failed to curb such power distribution hitches. For example, the load of 132kV College Road, Teri Sansi and Emanabad grid stations can be shifted on Ghakkhar, KSK, and Sahowala grid stations, but cannot be shifted due to insufficient capacity at 220kV Grid Station Gujrat.

The heavily loaded 132kV Circuits at 500kV Grid Station Nokhar i.e 132kV Gujranwala College Road can be fed from 220 kV Ghakkhar via 132kV Cantt Grid Station but due to deteriorated condition of 132kV conductor the load cannot be managed properly. While 132kV T/Ls at 220kV Grid Station Slalkot are not being constructed due to reasons better known to the management of GEPCO. Furthermore, 132kV T/L at the said Grid Station is under no load. Such irregular load distribution leads to load-shedding in vast areas of GEPCO.

The power supply being managed by Sukkar Electric Power Company (SEPCO) also portrays similar picture. For instance, 500kV Shikarpur Grid Stations is overloaded due to non-completion of construction of 132 kV Lines from 220kV Dera Murad Jamali Grid Station, whereas one from Dera Murad to Usta Muhammad Circuit is under construction. Non-shifting of 132kV Airport/Arain Road to 220kV New Rohri is creating problems due to weak 132kV network of SEPCO.

The Peshawar Electricity Supply Company’s (PESCO) failure to withdraw power from Mansehra Grid Station is also a persistent source of concern. Islamabad Electricity Supply Company (IESCO) has not been able to fully withdraw power due to their obsession with Rawat Grid. The company is not withdrawing power from Burhan Grid which is underutilised.

Consumers of Faisalabad Electricity Supply Company (FESCO) are also suffering as the power company is not fully withdrawing power from Jaranwala, Nishatabad, Bandala and Sumandri grids, causing overloading of Gatti grid station.

When contacted, the spokesman for power division referred to speech of Syed Ali Zafar, the minister of energy, in a meeting held in federal capital yesterday (Thursday). The meeting was convened to review supply and delivery of electricity.

Zafar, while addressing the meeting, had said the delivery system of electricity was faulty and the end consumes were not receiving even the generated electricity. The minister also pointed out that enhancement of transmission and distribution system capabilities had not taken place.

The energy minister also highlighted that DISCOs had consistently not been able to fully utilise supplied energy and electricity had been unavailable in areas. Chief executive LESCO did not comment on the contents of power distribution audit, in which it was pointed out that company’s failure was one of the main reasons of long outages in pockets.

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